Sunday, December 25, 2011

A reason to celebrate

Merry Christmas! What a joyous day we have the privilege we have in celebrating the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ! In reflecting on this glorious day and what the arrival of this baby means I had a few thoughts....

1) God Himself came to earth!! Friends we are celebrating that our Maker & ruler over the heavens & the earth came to earth! He came to inhabit with his people! He came to lay his life down for us, those who are called according to his purpose. As I read in a devotional this week from a friend of ours, "God would be the great initiator of the invasion of heaven to earth. God had chosen to invade the earth in the most unlikely yet completely common way, through a baby. It is true that this “conception” was miraculous, but this Invader was brought into the world like every other human!! This is the brilliance of the plan of God. The sign given to the earth would be “God’s Sign”. The Son given to the earth would “God’s Son”. The messenger angel sent to announce the birth would be “God’s Messenger”. The timing of the whole invasion would be “God’s Timing”. Why did God choose to invade the earth as He did, when He did and with whom He did? God alone can give answers to these questions. He is the first and supreme witness to the birth of Jesus Christ. He is the only One that has
seen this invasion from its inception. He is the Master-Mind behind this great and awesome plan."
So as I see so many say "happy birthday Jesus" it bothers me that they are minimizing what this birth of a king really means! In thinking of the perspective that God INVADED the earth--how can we even compare this to our human birthdays?? He came born a man but yet he was God--the Creator & King of the universe!! He is so much more significant and bigger than saying "happy birthday Jesus" (which in all honestly makes me cringe).

2) I'm reminded of the depths of my sin & sin in my heart! Whether in the hustle & bustle of the "doing" & loosing sight of what we are celebrating. Or comments or words we may say to those closest to us out of thoughtlessness. Throughout this time I'm seeing more of how wretchedly sinful I am.....and how ever more grateful I am that our great God sent His son to earth, so He could live & die for me. So He would be the one who could cover all of these multitude of sins I'm faced with each and every day! He paid my penalty, and because I believe in Him (who knew no sin) I'm covered in His robe of perfect righteousness! Praise be to God!

3) He continues to amaze me and bless me beyond all measure! Because of this sin, because of what I really deserve, God is so faithful and abundantly gracious to me! He sanctifies me, He carves and molds away at me His creation. I certainly don't deserve such mercy---but because He sent this baby/His Son/King/Savior/Redeemer.......I continue to partake in these unmerited blessings. It's then I can have the perspective to look to what is eternal, to hope in what is to come......God our Creator and Redeemer coming to make all things new! Again here is another piece I read from the advent devotional that same friend sent us this week...."The Incarnation is a dramatic reminder that God is creating a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1) The Son of God taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Paul said, “the creation itself is longing for the sons of God to be revealed.” (Romans 8:19)

As we move through this life, we may be confident of this very thing: there is not one place on the planet that will not sing the eternal praises of the Son of God!"

I hope you all had a joyous Christmas.....celebrating the birth or the Savior and because of that the hope we have of what is to come!!!

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13-14

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Festivities

It has been crazy around here lately! Just even hard to have a moment to sit down and go through pictures! So I finally did tonight........

First of all--last Friday I had the opportunity to take Emery-Claire to go watch our local ballet theatre's production of the "Nutcracker". It was so fun for us to go do this together! We have several friends who dance with this ballet company, so it was fun for her to see one of them (as it was brief performance of Act 2 for school groups to go to) dancing. She loved it! As did I! And the 45-50 minute show was just enough for her little attention span. A great kickoff to our ballet weekend!

Friday night we had the dress rehearsal for Emery-Claire's ballet recital. As you can see she could barely contain her excitement to be on stage and dance! And this is just rehearsal!

Saturday....all ready to head out to her recital!

Posing after the was so sweet! She did great!

So excited to have Gigi (and Pops, and Aunt Jess & cousin Brody, and Aunt Nee Nee & new cousin baby Rett) to come and watch her!

So it was also a big weekend as we got to FINALLY meet our newest family member---baby Rett! He was born back in October and we have been so excited to meet this sweet little guy! So finally 2 months later we have, and we is so cute! It was fun to see the kids enjoy holding him and being so sweet to him! I'm so used to always having a baby in the house, that it really hit me that it's been awhile now. As you can see they loved every minute of it!

Mary Etta was soooo sweet with Rett. She kept rubbing his head and saying "I be gentle". After he left she has continued to talk about baby Rett this week. One of the cutest things she said was in response to "whose girl are you?" (usually a game we play and she alternates if she is mommy's girl or daddy's girl). So this week it was "I baby Rett girl!"

A cousin picture--Reed looks so thrilled doesn't he!

Also, this week Reed has his Christmas program at school. He did great and was so excited to sing all his songs they had been working so hard on!

Posing in his classroom by their tree.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advent Calendar

So tonight we had another little photo shoot to try and get some Christmas pictures. They did turn out a little better than the other night, but still the quality was not as great as I'd hoped. I think it is because my lighting in the house, once it's dark outside, is probably the cause. So as you can see I used a couple of them and changed the blog header to make it more "festive" I should say. I think I like it, but I really liked the other one I had......I just loved those pictures of Mary Etta I took outside. They were just so sweet! So don't be surprised if I change back-ha!

Ok now onto advent. I have had several friends ask me about my calendar. And I forgot that my friend, Rebekah, who I got the idea from has currently made her blog private (as I linked my post to one from last year, which linked to her blog--sorry for anyone who tried to look at it.). She is in process of an adoption and wanted (for security purposes) to make her blog private for now. So anyways, here is the copied list of symbols and verses I got from her to use for our advent tree. Basically I just got a advent calendar last year at Joann's I believe. I then made cut out pictures of the below symbols from felt (mine are nothing fancy....I'm no artist so they are pretty simple and decorated with glitter for some sparkly!).

I then wrapped a box like a present (a top and bottom lid) and put each felt ornament inside. So each day we open the box and pull out the day's ornament.....then read from the below listed passages. I ended up typing up all of these last year, as some of them are really long and way too wordy for little ones. So I basically look at my sheet for my summarized version for the children. They love it! And can't wait to break open that box every day---Reed is especially so eager this year!

It's so fun to see them be so excited to hear more of story each day. All the symbols and passages take you all the way through redemptive history & point to Jesus' coming; I just love it! I already emailed one friend my sheet with summaries, so I'd be happy to do that for anyone else---as some of these are long and really you have to be prepared before sitting down with your kids. So I liked having it all prepared before we sat down. I should be using the longer ones for my own time in the word everyday! So let me know if you want me to email you my summaries, it did take me some time to do it.

1. Tree for Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-3, 10
2. World for Creation: Genesis 1:1-2
3. Fruit for Adam and Eve: Genesis 3:1-13
4. Ark for Noah: Genesis 6:9-22
5. Tent for Abraham: Genesis 12:1-7
6. Lamb for Isaac: Genesis 22:1-18
7. Ladder for Jacob: Genesis 28:10-15
8. Coat for Joseph: Genesis 37:1-36
9. Burning Bush for Moses: Exodus 3:1-10
10. Heart for Ruth: Ruth 1:15-18
11. Lamp for Samuel: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 v. 4 God's lamp was still burning
12. Harp for David: 1 Samuel 16:14-23
13. Crown for King Solomon: 1 Kings 3:3-14
14. Six-winged Angel for Isaiah: Isaiah 6:1-8
15. Bible {Word of God} for Jeremiah: Jeremiah 31:31-34
16. Church for Nehemiah: Nehemiah 13:10-22
17. Fiery Furnace: Daniel 3:13-28
18. Lion for Daniel: Daniel 6:1-24
19. Big Fish for Jonah: Jonah 1 and 2
20. Baptismal Font for John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8
21. Mary, the Mother of Jesus: Luke 1:26-38
22. Saw for Joseph, the carpenter: Matthew 1:18-21, 13:55
23. Star for the wise men: Matthew 2:1-12
24. Manger for the Birth of Jesus: Luke 2:1-20
25. Alpha and Omega for Jesus: Revelation 21:5-7

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas

So we attempted to take a few pictures around the tree tonight, well "attempted" would be the key word here! These were about as good as it gets! I guess I'll attempt more tomorrow. Everyone is loving the house all decorated and talking lots about Christmas. We've been doing our advent calendar (I mentioned it last year here)---Reed is so super excited. We started off well, but then the weekend was crazy and we got a little behind and had to play catch up today. It is so sweet to see them all excited, and excites me that more than lights, trees, presents, etc. I can really share what we are anticipating, what we are celebrating!

The girls in their so cute adorable matching Christmas nightgowns!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Embrace the Camera: dec. 1st

Can't believe it's december 1st......entering into probably my favorite season/time of the year! This picture is from probably a month or so ago....but thought it truly captures all of our sweet little blessings, in my season of motherhood!